by Terry Fairholm on 2011-02-10Often in the development business we hear the phrase ‘transformational change’. Frequently, it is used to distinguish between low to mid level change and extremely high level change. As it relates to Catholic secondary education, it is used to describe, for example, the difference between renovating the kitchen and building a new science and technology wing. While both may be needed, one will have low impact on the quality of the educational product; the other could elevate the school to a higher level of existence. Almost every Catholic school we have interviewed with or worked with has required the latter, a higher level of existence – transformation. The challenge is how to achieve that objective. Here are some ideas to consider in the pursuit of truly ‘transformational’ change:
by Terry Fairholm on 2011-01-26
Remember the New Year’s Eve bar scene in the movie Forrest Gump when Lenore (one of Lieutenant Dan’s friends) says to Forrest, "don’t you just love New Year’s? You get to start all over; everybody gets another chance." In the business of development, the New Year marks the half way point of our school year and it gives us a chance to review where we are relative to our objectives for the year. Last year at this time I suggested that, at this point in the year, you should have accomplished the following:
by Terry Fairholm on 2010-11-01
On Sunday, October 24, 2010 my brother, Don, and I ran a half marathon in Niagara Falls. It was in honor of my Dad, Ron Fairholm, who had passed away in July of 2009. My Dad introduced us to running and we wanted to do something to honor him on his birthday so we trained and ran the 13.1 miles. What does this have to do with major gifts? While I was running (for 1 hour and 55 minutes) I noticed a t-shirt that another runner was wearing that read 'Do Hard Things'. That got me thinking about a lot but particularly our business.
by Terry Fairholm on 2010-06-28
This Advancement Minute addresses the fundamentally important topic of identifying major gift prospects. As the video outlines, there are five key steps to identifying top prospects. I want to focus on just three of the steps in this blog:
Electronic screening: this is a critically important first step that all Catholic high schools should engage in. The cost has come down considerably and it is impossible to reach you major gift potential without this information. With the help of contemporary technology, we are now able to “make the target smaller” and identify where the wealth is within our database. If there are 10,000 constituents within your school’s database, over 90% of the wealth will be held by approximately 400 people. Knowing who those folks are and involving them in the school will set you in the right major gift direction.
by Terry Fairholm on 2009-12-16
We are nearing the end of the calendar year and by now you should be well on your way to achieving your advancement objectives for this school year. A few benchmarks for you to consider: By now -
These are just some suggested guidelines for you to consider.
by Terry Fairholm on 2009-05-18
One definition of success is achieving a pre-established objective. In that case, before you can be successful, you must know what you want. In the business of advancement, that means having a clear vision. It is critically important to have a clear vision because without it, you cannot have a case for support. Without a case for support, you cannot conduct effective solicitations at any level - annual fund, major gifts or planned gifts. Unless you can execute effective asks, you won’t raise any money. So, clarity of vision establishes the objective; it defines the ‘what’ in the equation. Clear, specific strategic objectives enable you to move to the next step – action.
by Terry Fairholm on 2009-03-27
We’ve all heard the now famous Nike expression ‘just do it’. Now that you have created your advancement plan and organized yourself and your operation, it’s time to ‘just do it’. Implementation is the key to success. At some point, we have to stop talking and start doing. That time is now!